Apple Again Denied Sales Ban of Select Samsung Devices in U.S.

 
 
By Todd R. Weiss  |  Posted 2014-08-28
 
 
 
Apple Samsung

Twice since 2011 Apple has tried to get a U.S. court to ban the sale of some Samsung mobile devices here due to alleged patent infringement, and each time Apple was not successful. Now Apple has lost its case a third time as a San Jose, Calif., court again shot down the company's appeal.

The latest legal blow to Apple in the case came on Aug. 27, when U.S. District Judge Lucy H. Koh denied "what the company had pitched as a 'narrowly tailored' ban on some older Samsung smartphone models after a jury in May found infringement by both companies," according to a report by Bloomberg BusinessWeek.

Koh has twice before denied similar requests by Apple in the case, which originated in 2011, according to an earlier eWEEK report.

Earlier this year in another patent dispute case, Apple won a $120 million jury verdict against Samsung, according to a report by Reuters. Apple had sought more than $2 billion in damages in that case. The two companies agreed earlier this month to drop all of their patent lawsuits outside the United States, the story reported.

Koh's latest ruling said that "Apple's reputation as an innovator 'has proved extremely robust' despite Samsung's patent infringement," Reuters reported. "Apple has not demonstrated that it will suffer irreparable harm to its reputation or goodwill as an innovator without an injunction," she wrote.

The Samsung devices targeted for a sales ban in Apple's most recent case include the Admire, Galaxy Nexus, Galaxy Note, Galaxy Note 2, Galaxy S2, Galaxy S2 Epic 4G Touch, Galaxy S2 Skyrocket, Galaxy S3 and Stratosphere, according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

"Samsung argued in the current case that there's no evidence Apple suffered 'irreparable harm' from any infringement, one of the requirements the iPhone maker must meet to win a sales ban," the story stated.

In recent months, Apple and Samsung have been beginning to wind down their seemingly endless patent war, according to an earlier eWEEK report.  The companies haven't given up the fight entirely, but at least internationally, they've decided to put an end to their squabble and are turning their attention back to competing in the worldwide mobile device market.

The legal battle has been quite a saga since it began back in 2011.

In an earlier legal proceeding in the patent dispute case in March 2013, Koh slashed $450 million from the money awarded to Apple by a jury in 2012, saying errors were made in reaching the original $1.05 billion award that was given to the company. She also ordered a new trial at that time to focus on determining the amount of damages owed to Apple in connection with the Samsung devices in dispute.

The ruling was yet another twist in what became an increasingly bitter legal dispute that was contested on numerous fronts in different courtrooms around the world between Apple and Samsung, the world's top smartphone makers.

In December 2012, Koh ruled against Apple for what would be the first time in the ongoing case, saying she would not order to ban sales of the disputed Samsung products in the United States, according to an earlier eWEEK report.

At that time, the judge appeared to be laying the groundwork for her later ruling that reduced the award, saying in an order that "while Apple has presented evidence that design, as a general matter, is important to consumers more broadly, Apple simply has not established a sufficient casual nexus between infringement of its design patents and irreparable harm. Though evidence that Samsung attempted to copy certain Apple features may offer limited support for Apple's theory, it does not establish that those features actually drove customer demand."

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